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Originally published March 10, 2010 at 6:55 PM | Page modified March 11, 2010 at 6:20 AM

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Seahawks looking for a quarterback

Seneca Wallace's departure only adds to Seattle's uncertainty at quarterback, which is fertile ground for rumors.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Seneca Wallace's addition to Cleveland precipitated quarterback Derek Anderson's departure from the Browns.

Could Wallace's departure from Seattle leave a vacancy that Anderson could fill?

The Seahawks and Anderson will try to answer that question this week when the free agent visits the team.

Or perhaps it will be Charlie Whitehurst, the third-string quarterback from San Diego, who is also expected to visit this week.

Or maybe it will be a quarterback the Seahawks choose in the draft.

Seattle is in the midst of its first significant shake-up in the pocket since 2005, when backup Trent Dilfer was traded to Cleveland. For the past five years, Matt Hasselbeck and Wallace have been the top two rungs in Seattle's quarterback hierarchy.

That changed with Wallace's trade for what turns out to be a seventh-round pick in 2011, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Wednesday. To receive so little in return for Wallace shows Seattle was prepared to release him outright.

His departure only adds to Seattle's uncertainty at quarterback, which is fertile ground for rumors. Sal Paolantonio, an ESPN reporter, said in a radio interview the Seahawks called the Eagles to inquire about quarterbacks Donovan McNabb or Kevin Kolb.

Welcome to the silly season in the NFL, where all sorts of scenarios get trotted out. Some would be feasible. Kolb could fit the blueprint of finding a starter for the future. Others less so. Trading for a veteran starter like McNabb would chafe against the repeated support coach Pete Carroll has voiced for Hasselbeck, most recently this week.

McNabb is only a year younger than Hasselbeck, and both are entering the final years of their contracts. Acquiring McNabb wouldn't fit the blueprint Carroll has outlined of keeping Hasselbeck as the starter while trying to find an eventual heir.

Anderson, meanwhile, is 26 and has Northwest ties, having played at Oregon State. He also figures to have options, and is scheduled to visit Arizona after his trip to Seattle, according to ESPN. The Cardinals entered free agency with only one quarterback on the roster: Matt Leinart.

Whitehurst was in Arizona on Wednesday, according to NFL.com. He is 27, a third-round pick from Clemson who was the Chargers' third-string quarterback.

Unlike Anderson, Whitehurst is a restricted free agent, meaning the Chargers hold the right to match any offer sheet he signs. If they didn't, they would receive a third-round pick as compensation. Seattle doesn't have its own third-round pick, having traded it to pick Deon Butler last season, so the Seahawks could not sign Whitehurst to an offer sheet. Instead, Seattle would have to work out a separate trade arrangement with San Diego.

Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or doneil@seattletimes.com

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